2016-09-15 / Sports

Parker, Lakers take second in Buckley

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


DRAKE PARKER, pictured Saturday at the Charlevoix Mud Run, turned in an impressive showing Tuesday in the first Northwest Conference jamboree of 2016. Parker placed sixth, leading Glen Lake to a second-place finish. 
Photo: Jenny Parker DRAKE PARKER, pictured Saturday at the Charlevoix Mud Run, turned in an impressive showing Tuesday in the first Northwest Conference jamboree of 2016. Parker placed sixth, leading Glen Lake to a second-place finish. Photo: Jenny Parker Dual-sport reinforcements gave the Glen Lake boys cross country team a full roster and a chance to place second in the first Northwest Conference jamboree of the season.

Coach Ryan Schut told his boys to make the most of the opportunity.

“I huddled the boys together and said, 'You have a chance to take second place tonight,'" said Schut, who shares athletes with the soccer team. “You’ve got to look for yellow (Frankfort) and red (Suttons Bay). If you see those guys, you need to pass them.'”

The boys did just that at Buckley on Tuesday, turning in the team’s highest finish in a conference race in years. The Lakers (65 points) narrowly edged Frankfort (64) for second place and separated themselves from fourth-place Suttons Bay (96).

The reigning Class C state champion boys of Benzie Central finished first, turning in a perfect 15-point score by sweeping the top five spots.

Schut, who was still crunching numbers late Tuesday night, said freshman Spencer Kaastra made the difference.

“I’m telling him, as my fifth-place runner, that every place matters,” Schut said. “For him to be able to pass those last few Frankfort runners, or really any runner, made a huge difference.”

He added: “That’s what makes cross country so much fun. It’s a team sport, but it does come down to that individual doing well to keep that score low.”

Drake Parker led the way for Glen Lake, finishing behind the Benzie Central quintet in sixth place (18:40.96) among 53 runners. Noah Henderson crossed 12th (19:33.04), Christian Barber was 22nd (20:34.35 PR) and J.D. Willey was 25th (20:48.18). Kaastra crossed 40th (22:06.34).

Suttons Bay runners Will Faught (21:18.12), Jayce Konopka (21:19.52) and Derek Piglowski (21:24.98 PR) took 30th, 31st and 33rd, respectively. Leland’s Cormac Rasey (21:20.30) finished 32nd. Zach Fortuna led the way for Leland, crossing 18th. (19:55.45).

“Zach has made significant improvement, has a realistic chance at qualifying for state and is within reach of our school record,” said coach Kat Murphy.

Benzie Central’s girls also finished first, scoring 18 points. Kingsley (47), Frankfort (76) and Glen Lake (101) rounded out team scores.

Shantel Francis of Suttons Bay paced the Leelanau County pack in 12th place (22:17.36) before teammate Kelsey Pease finished 29th (23:44.31).

“Everyone is taking time off their records this season and progressing well,” said Suttons Bay coach Jeremy Fenske. “We have six boys and five girls right now, so we’re a little smaller than the past few years, but we’re having fun and they’re working hard.”

Top finishers for Glen Lake were Karrigan LaCross (22:44.55 PR) and Sunny Charpentier (22:48.20), who finished 17th and 18th.

“Karrigan is getting stronger and Sunny continues to be one of the best runners this season,” Schut said.

Hannah Brown (24:28.22), Sage Deemer (24:32.70) and Jennifer LaCross (24:35.17) rounded out the team’s top five in 35th, 36th and 37th place.

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